“When We Grow Older” Art Exhibition Reframes Narrative on Aging and Care

Collaboration between artists, aging caregivers, and philanthropy showcases diversity of aging and intergenerational care in California 


In partnership with  Caring Across Generations, the Center for Cultural Power, and the SCAN Foundation, Metta Fund is thrilled to present When We Grow Older, a visual and oral storytelling of care and aging inspired by the experiences of Spanish-speaking and Afro-Latina caregivers aging in California. Their stories – alongside original works of art – represent the diverse traditions of communities who honor and care for their elders.

Featuring stunning visual art by Monica Ahanonu, Cece Carpio, Xia Gordon, James Quarles, and Yosimar Reyes inspired by the stories and lived experiences of Cesía Álvarez, María Sánchez, and María Tirado – three aging caregivers living in California – the project examines the stories we’re told about aging, and how those stories work to uphold the systems that fail to care for our elders. When We Grow Older is a reimagining of an anti-racist, anti-ableist society that celebrates the beauty and honor of aging, where all can grow older with autonomy, strength, and dignity.

The physical art installation launched last week at CareFest, a first-of-its-kind summit held in Los Angeles focused on the future of caregiving with 500+ leaders across business, entertainment, government, and advocacy sectors. It will next be displayed in Metta Fund’s community space in early 2024 and can be viewed online here.

“It is through art and cultural strategy that we can shift narratives to raise awareness about aging and caregiving, and visualize the future of care.”                                                                                                                                                              – Favianna Rodriguez

“It is through art and cultural strategy that we can shift narratives to raise awareness about aging and caregiving, and visualize the future of care. We want to show the world how we can reimagine our future,” said Favianna Rodriguez, artist and president of the Center for Cultural Power.

Black women, immigrant women, and other women of color are disproportionately harmed by an inequitable care infrastructure, both as caregivers and as part of an aging population that needs care themselves. Immigrant women make up one-third of all domestic workers, a field that remains excluded from labor protections. In California, there are over 2 million people aging into poverty, 45% of whom are Black women. Aging women of color are becoming increasingly displaced from their homes and communities due to rapid gentrification and lack of care infrastructure, despite so often being the caregivers that hold our families, our communities, and our society together.

“By embracing art that channels the complex emotions that come with giving and receiving care, we make a little bit more space in the public imagination for a society that truly recognizes and values our interdependence,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations. “The stories and experiences of care recipients, direct care workers and caregivers remind us that aging, illness and care are universal experiences. Every piece of artwork in this exhibit underscores the power of art to humanize aging for Californians.”

“We believe philanthropy has a role to play in advancing the care issue. And before we can change inequitable policies and systems, we must change narratives and people’s hearts and minds. Because these stories matter,” added Janet Y. Spears, Metta Fund CEO.



Contact: Anna Karrer Manley, akarrer@mettafund.org, (415) 660-7359


Caring Across Generations is a national organization of family caregivers, care workers, disabled people, and aging adults working to transform the way we care in this country so that care is accessible, affordable and equitable— and our systems of care enable everyone to live and age with dignity.

The Center for Cultural Power is a women of color, artist-led organization, inspiring artists and culture makers to imagine a world where power is distributed equitably and where we live in harmony with nature. We support artists through fellowships, training and opportunities for activation. We create intersectional stories and content addressing issues of migration, climate, gender and racial justice. We engage groups in cultural strategy and organize artists in issues that inspire them. Together with allies, we are co-creating a field of cultural strategy with organizations and practitioners through convenings, design teams and strategy tables.

Metta Fund is a private foundation dedicated to advancing the health and wellbeing of San Francisco’s growing older adult population. Through grantmaking and community partnerships, Metta Fund prioritizes areas where systemic change is needed to address health inequities. We believe everyone deserves to live a healthy life, at every age.

The SCAN Foundation (TSF) is a California-based, independent public foundation that envisions a society where all of us can age well with purpose. We pursue this vision by igniting bold and equitable changes in how older adults age in both home and community.